Updated 2/17/2022

These are some of our policies and other things. There’s a lot here mainly because between pandemic and natural disasters there are so many contingencies to plan for. Feel free to email us if you have a situation we haven’t addressed.

The biggest questions we get are about refunds. The top line on refunds is that we don’t offer them. Outside of 30 days you can defer to another race in the coming year. This can be the same race in the following year or any of our races before then.

The big exception to refunds is if we choose to cancel a race, in which case, we’ll refund your registration fee.

Because of Covid and natural disasters, there’s more nuance to this policy. Also read down for things like cupless racing, litering, early starts.

Refund and Rescheduling Policies

Deferrals and Bib Transfers, Cancellations (Natural), Cancellations (Ours). Also AQI rules and format changes

We do not offer refunds or bib transfers. If you need to withdraw from or cancel a race more than 30-days from the running of the event, we will offer you the chance to defer to the next year’s running of the event you’ve signed up for, or to another Scena event. We will not refund the difference between ticket prices for the new event. We also won’t ask for more if the next year’s event is more expensive.

For those of you registering with Ultrasignup, the transfer policy is easy. You cancel your registration and receive a credit in your Ultrasignup account if you fit within the time guidelines described above.

Within 30-days of the race, deferrals aren’t automatic. We do offer some wiggle room up to two weeks before a race. ‘Wiggle room’ would mean that you have a pretty significant excuse such as extreme illness of death in a family. Getting injured isn’t a reason for a deferral. Being injured is just part of the sport. Likewise, traveling for work isn’t a reason for a deferral.

If you request within two weeks of the race date, we offer no refund or deferral. Sorry, we make no exceptions this close to the race.

Time Limit of Deferrals 

If you defer a race, you have a year to use your entry. You can run any other Scena event up to the next year’s version of the event you signed up for.

We don’t honor deferrals after a year from you original event. We don’t allow you to defer a deferred race entry as well. You have a year to use that entry.

Cancellations (Natural): What happens if the race is canceled because of weather or natural disaster?

Unfortunately, natural disasters seem to come with the territory in California – and now we have global pandemic. So here it goes:

If at all possible, we will run your race. This includes running in very heavy rain. In some cases, running simply isn’t possible, as was the case during the fires in the last few years (see our Air Policy below.) In these cases, we all find out at the last minute. In the case of Covid, we tend to know more in advance.

  • If a race is canceled between 30 days and one week of its scheduled date, we will reschedule a make-up race. There will be no refunds. If your race has been rescheduled, you’ll automatically be entered into the rescheduled event. If you choose not to take part in the rescheduled event, we will double our best to place you in another race of ours.
  • If a race is canceled within one week of the race because of an act of nature or the directive of one of the parks or third-party agencies that permit the race, we will not automatically reschedule make up race. In this case, unfortunately, we will have borne all of the costs of the race. In this case, we will offer a credit of 50% of your registration to another race.

Air Policy

We generally will not run a race if AQI is over 100.

Race Format Changes

In some cases, natural circumstances will lead us to change the format of the race. This can include things like changing a triathlon to a duathlon, or changing distances of a trail race. Race format change policies follow the same rules as our general refund policies. If we do this 30 days before a race, you can defer. If we change the format on race week, we will not offer refunds or deferrals.

Cancellation (Ours) Policy

In some cases, we will cancel a race for our own reasons that don’t involve Nature. If we cancel a race at our own discretion, we will refund your entry fee.¬†

More Policies

Volunteer Credits

Our events simply wouldn’t happen without volunteers. We do offer complimentary entries with the following guidelines. Volunteers must:

  • Arrange with the Race Director in advance of the race.
  • Provide 6 hours of service in a single event.

Complimentary entries are not available to those who are also using the time as a service credit for another event. Also, credits are not available to volunteers who are working as part of a running team, since we often have some separate gift we are giving to the team.


We have a zero-tolerance policy on littering. If you’re caught dropping anything on the trail, you’ll be disqualified.

Cupless Racing

Scena offers cupless races as part of our effort to reduce waste at our races. For our ultramarathons, you’ll be given a cup when you register. Cups are also available for purchase.


Q: Are there medals and other awards at your events?

Many, but not all, Scena events offer finisher medals and age group awards. Age group awards vary by event, but in the cases of trail races, the awards generally go in 10-year increments. In triathlon, by 5.

If a race has less than 50 athletes, we offer awards for the top 3 by gender. If a race has 50 to 100 athletes, we offer age group awards for the winner of each age group. If a race has more than 100 athletes, we have awards for the top three in each age group.

Q: Is there food at your event and can my family enjoy it?

Yes, we love feeding people! Most Scena events have excellent and hardy food service. In most cases, this is free and we plan that your family will come and enjoy it too! If food for extra family members is not included, we will say so before the event. In some cases, like the Ancient Redwood Running Festival, we charge for extra meals simply because it costs us more to be in that environment.

Q: Can I have an early start and what does it mean if I accept it?

Most of our endurance running events offer an early start option. Accepting means a few things. First, we can’t guarantee that all the aid stations will be open, so you have to be prepared just in case. Second, you aren’t eligible to be the overall winner or age group winner if you start early. We do, however, give you an official finish.

Q: Does my entry go to a good cause?

Many Scena events do go to very good causes. Each event is a little different but we do our best to describe who you are helping with each event. A few of our events do not support causes, often because the event itself is the cause and our primary aim is to get you there.